Category Archives: Community

Community Foundation Prepares to Brighten Spring, Offers “Releaf” for Trees

This fall, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation is leading beautification efforts throughout the metro by providing 400 new trees and 70,000 daffodil bulbs to help our community recover from the harsh winter weather of 2020-21.

“Community beautification has been a cornerstone of the Community Foundation since 1991,” OCCF President Nancy Anthony said. “After the ice storm last October and the subfreezing temperatures in February, helping our community recover was a natural and necessary extension of these efforts.”

Over the past decade, the Community Foundation has worked with the City of Oklahoma City, Association of Central Oklahoma Governments and Oklahoma Forestry Services to document the environmental, aesthetic and functional benefits trees provide as well as help improve the community’s parks system. With the devastating weather last winter, much of the Oklahoma City metro tree canopy was damaged or destroyed.

“When you lose trees, especially in great quantities like this, it’s extremely important to restore that tree canopy,” said Brian Dougherty, director of OCCF’s parks and public spaces initiative. “Over the next several months, Releaf 2021 will provide us the opportunity to work closely with neighborhood associations throughout the metro that are planning for succession planting in ungated portions of their neighborhood frontage, medians, greenbelts and parks.”

Through Releaf 2021, the Community Foundation is inviting neighborhood associations that fall in the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Tree Canopy Area to apply for new trees for succession planning. Applications will be open through Oct. 6, 2021, but trees will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. To learn more or apply, neighborhoods are encouraged to visit occf.org/releaf.

In addition, the Community Foundation is bringing back Rebloom Oklahoma for a second year. In 2020, the program distributed more than 60,000 daffodil bulbs to neighborhoods, parks, schools, churches and libraries. For 2021, the project will expand by offering 70,000 daffodil bulbs. Qualifying organizations can apply at occf.org/rebloom between Sept. 3, 2021, and Oct. 27, 2021.

Rural Schools in 20 Oklahoma Counties Eligible for Classroom Enhancement Grants

Teachers at public schools in 20 rural Oklahoma counties are invited to apply for Classroom Enhancement Grants of up to $5,000 from the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation.

The grant application is available for pre-K through 12th-grade classrooms and school libraries to support projects focusing on the arts and humanities, science or literacy. The deadline to request access to the application is Friday, Sept. 10. The actual applications are due by 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13.

Longtime Coalgate resident Carolyn Watson established the Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation as a permanent endowment fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in 2010 to help improve the quality of life for rural Oklahoma residents. Soon after, the Classroom Enhancement Grants program was added to enhance rural Oklahoma classrooms and curriculums. Eligible public schools must be located within one of 20 designated counties and be classified as rural by the National Center for Education Statistics.

“Many of Oklahoma’s high school students come from rural communities and they are a vital part of Oklahoma’s future,” said Nancy Anthony, president of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. “Thanks to Carolyn Watson’s knowledge of rural communities and where needs and opportunities existed, we are able to provide educational opportunities which can expand their horizons.”

To find out if your school district is eligible to apply for Classroom Enhancement Grants through the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation and view grant guidelines, visit ruraloklahoma.org.